20 Years in the Greater Manchester Police

More about my Police Service

I joined the Greater Manchester Police in November 1977 having just left school. At the time of my recruitment I was 18 years old and I was told that I was the youngest serving member of the force. I completed ten weeks basic training course at Bruche Police Training College at Warrington Cheshire (closed 2006) and was posted to the south of the 'M' Division of the Greater Manchester Police initially stationed at Sale.

During the next seventeen years I worked predominantly in uniform but with spells working in plain clothes and in the C.I.D. I was fully trained to work in a custody office but spent most of my uniformed service driving the sub-divisional and divisional van. I also took part in the policing of the riots in the Moss Side area of Manchester in 1981. I also went over to Toxteth in Liverpool to the disturbances there but fortunately missed the worst of the trouble. The following video shows the type of disturbances the Police faced. The officer sat on the steps of the fire engine worked with me at Sale but on a different shift. Approximately 8 officers went to Toxteth that night with only 1 returning without any injuries.

I also policed strikes at Hadfields Steel Sheffield and the miners strike at pits across Yorkshire and Warwickshire and more locally at flash points around the Manchester area.

Victim of dart attack
Me with victim of dart attack at Old Trafford.

Old Trafford Football Ground, the home of Manchester United is located on the division where I worked and I often found myself policing the terraces. Old Trafford was the scene of much trouble in the late 70's and early 80's.

A couple of years of my police service were spent in the role of community Police Officer. I frequently had to reply to concerns raised by local and national politicians and give talks or presentations to local schools or groups. On one occasion I was one of a group of officers selected to enlighten a Member of Parliament regarding policing problems. This community policing role took a little bit of getting used to as it involved a more considered approach to policing an area and in many instances required resolution of matters affecting peoples quality of life rather than outright breaches of the law. It was not unusual to carry out an arrest following months of intelligence gathering, a very satisfying way to work.

Having initially joined the Police following an interest in Scenes of Crime Work, I quickly realised that people had to retire or die before a vacancy became available. I eventually attended the Initial Scenes of Crime Course at the National Training School at Durham and having passed the course with top grades was for several years a reserve /standby Scenes of Crime Officer working from Stretford. In January 1995 I took up a permanent position as a Detective Constable in the Scenes of Crime Department working from the Crescent Police Station at Salford on the 'F' Division.

scene of shooting
Casting a tyre impression at the scene of a shooting.

The next couple of years saw me involved in the investigation of numerous major crimes up to and including murders. During this time I also passed a Scenes of Crime Development course at Durham again achieving top grades.

During my service as a Police Officer I received a number of commendations and a Royal Humane Society Certificate for resuscitating a young boy who had stopped breathing after falling into a disused swimming pool.

Newspaper Article
Article about me in local newspaper. I was awarded a Royal Humane Society Certificate for my actions.

My career was cut short by my injury and following surgery I was medically retired from the Police in April 1997. My certificate of service, which was posted to me, states I served with exemplary conduct.

In August the same year I rejoined the Greater Manchester Police as a civilian Scenes of Crime Officer (now for reasons only known to some boss somewhere known as a Crime Scene Examiner) and again went back to work at my old desk in Salford. The following 18 months found me working for a considerable time from Longsight Police Station on the 'C' Division, covering the surrounding area including Moss Side (an area with extensive gun and gang crime) and again being engaged on all types of criminal investigations including several murders. I managed to claw my way back to Salford but was overtaken by extreme exhaustion and pain and eventually reported sick. I was in fact never to return to work for the Police. Whilst still working at Salford I had again involved in major crime enquiries for which I had once again been awarded a commendation.

Throughout my service as both a Police and civilian employee of the Greater Manchester Police I was never disciplined or the subject of disciplinary procedures. My service with the Greater Manchester Police finally finished on 31 March 2001 with a further medical retirement. That means that effectively my first day of unemployment was April 1st...Hmmmm.